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Inspiration

December 1, 2005

I just tripped over a wonderful blog this morning, as I was making my blog-rounds. Seems my favorite blog of all time, Lifenut, was nominated for Sallie’s 2005 Blogs of Beauty Awards. Go Mopsy!

So I clicked on over to Sallie’s blog to check out these awards and see if I should vote, and … well … wow. I’ve only browsed a very small portion of her site, but Sallie has a lot of interesting things to say.

The premise of her site (paraphrasing here, so I hope I get this right) is that people need to recognize and use the gifts God gives them, not the gifts they would like to have. In the parable of the talents, the master gives one servant 2 talents, and another servant 5 talents. Both are rewarded for being good stewards of their talents – even though the profit they brought to the master was unequal. The point is, they both gave their all to taking care of what they had been given. But our culture tells us we need to be more, to do more, and as a result, we often neglect the talents we’ve been given in pursuit of other talents that weren’t meant for us in the first place.

This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time – the realization that God did not create me to be a the lead in the play of life, but rather a supporting cast member or even a member of the audience. All of these groups are important for a successful play – after all, most people don’t want to go see The Music Man or Twelfth Night performed by just one man. Neither do actors want to perform for an empty house.

A supporting cast is necessary. But it has been hard for me to realize that I am that supporting cast.

I have done a lot of lead-actor type stuff in my life. I have been the lead in several plays, I have headed up volunteer organizations, and I have lead Bible study groups. But for the most part, those efforts did not turn out as well as I had expected them to.

I did ok in the plays, but I was also a child at the time, so somehow that doesn’t really count.

I was extremely gratified that my horrible management did not drive the volunteer organization I presided over for a year into the ground. I have no idea how they survived me. I was like the Hurricane Katrina and FEMA of presidents, laying waste to a perfectly good organization and then having no idea how to fix the damage. It was that bad. I learned, though, that leadership is NOT one of the talents that God has given me.

The Bible study went well for a year or two, until InterVarsity decided to take my Women’s Bible Study and make it co-ed. Then, for some reason, everything fell apart. I guess I have a harder time leading and inspiring men, or something. That still stings.

I have been less than a success in my career, up to this point – not to mention very unhappy. But I was expected to have a career, seeing as I had a college degree and all.

Now I work out of the home part time and am a full-time mother. And I am the happiest I have ever been. I am not stressed. I do not get migranes and stomach aches at the thought of going to work. But every now and again, I have guilt. I worry I am not using the gifts God gave me. After all, I am blessed to have an education, and a reasonably good brain. Shouldn’t I be out changing the world?

So, thanks Sallie, for giving me another perspective, and for helping me to remember to grow the gifts I’ve been given and not worry so much about the rest.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2005 4:06 pm

    Thanks, goslyn. You are really sweet.

    Our pastor talked about that parable a few months ago and it really convicted me. It *is* better to do our best with two talents than to be half-hearted with five talents.

    Think of all the ways your education will benefit your son as he grows. You may not realize the tools you have until you need to use them.

  2. December 8, 2005 7:47 am

    In the parable of the talents, the master gives one servant 2 talents, and another servant 5 talents. Both are rewarded for being good stewards of their talents – even though the profit they brought to the master was unequal. The point is, they both gave their all to taking care of what they had been given.

    It’s funny, I just preached on that passage a few weeks back and said essentially that (except involving comparisons between Ghandi and John Wilkes Booth… I know, weird…)

    I think the really difficult thing for the Christian is sometimes not all that different than the really hard thing for the Buddhist. It’s letting go of the ego. It’s putting the self to the use of God rather than demanding that God do as we would have God do. And in the play of creation, all of us are supporting cast, doing our best to allow Christ’s lead performance to shine through what we do.

  3. December 9, 2005 6:39 pm

    Goslyn,

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. It sounds like you and I have a lot in common! Were you in InterVarsity as a student or as staff? I wasn’t involved as a student but did end up on staff for a few years.

    I love what you wrote about the supporting cast. I am going to put this post on my list of posts to link to sometime soon.

    Blessings,
    Sallie–>

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